Uncertainty in an Certain World
Big Data also changes the mind set about the solution. Big Data solutions don’t provide exactly but “more” or … mostly.
Probability and statistics are already used to create facts things that are mostly correct. Statistics uses samples to try to estimate the entire data set, which is an assumption we accept as fact.
A non-personal data example is the argument that engineering is estimation and not precise measurement and calculation. In reality engineers use estimates and approximations constantly to be able to predict how materials come together to function as designed, whether it’s a building or a power plant or a space station.
The materials are collected and placed together in an environment in a combination that is only uniquely possible; it’s never been done before and it couldn’t be exactly reproduced. If we were to create things with absolute (vice mostly) certainty, then construction would become outrageously – and prohibitively – expensive.